A Beautiful and Fruitful Place: Selected Rensselaerwijck Papers, Volume 2, Volume 2

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New Netherland’s distinctive regional history as well as the colony’s many relationships with Europe and the seventeenth-century Atlantic world are featured in the second collection of papers from the widely praised annual Rensselaerwijck Seminar. Leading scholars from both sides of the Atlantic critique and offer the latest research on a dynamic range of topics: the age of exploration, domestic life in New Netherland, the history and significance of the West India Company, the complex era of Jacob Leisler, the southern frontier lands of the colony, relations with New England, Dutch foodways in the Hudson Valley and their use of beer, the endurance of the Dutch legacy into 19th century New York, and contemporary genealogical research on colonial Dutch ancestors.

Cogent and informative, these papers are an indispensable source for better understanding the lives and legacies of the long ago New Netherland colony.
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About the author

Elisabeth Paling Funk was born in Woerden, the Netherlands. She is an independent scholar, freelance editor and translator, and former adjunct assistant professor at Manhattanville College. Her articles on early American and Dutch-American literature have been published in the United States and the Netherlands. She is preparing her dissertation, “Washington Irving and His Dutch-American Heritage as Seen in A History of New York, The Sketch-Book, Bracebridge Hall, and Tales of a Traveller,” for publication as a book.

Martha Dickinson Shattuck is the editor and researcher with the New Netherland Research Center and the editor of Explorers, Fortunes, and Love Letters: A Window on New Netherland. She has published various articles on New Netherland, was the New Netherland and Colonial editor for The Encyclopedia of New York State, and is currently editing and annotating the New Netherland papers from the Bontemantel Collection in the New York Public Library.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Sep 7, 2011
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Pages
283
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ISBN
9781438435978
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / Colonial Period (1600-1775)
History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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When Henry Hudson, sailing on the Half Moon for the Dutch East India Company, first laid eyes on the entrance to the Hudson River in 1609, a world of seemingly infinite possibilities lay before him and his crew. In 1624 the Dutch would take advantage of these opportunities and create the colony of New Netherland, building homes and communities that stretched from the Delaware Bay up along the Hudson River Valley to present-day Albany, New York.

The story of New Netherland is often overlooked in tales of the founding of America. The essays in Explorers, Fortunes and Love Letters: A Window on New Netherland offer a new perspective that takes the spotlight off the Puritans of New England and the settlers of Jamestown, Virginia, and instead offers striking arguments for casting the Dutch as central players in the American narrative.

These twelve essays, written by preeminent historians of New Netherland, pull from diverse perspectives—social, cultural, intellectual, economic, and political—to weave together the dynamic and diverse history of the Dutch in America. These scholars explore all aspects of Dutch life, ranging from sailing methods to factional politics to written expressions of love. The authors discuss how settlers retained traditions from the Netherlands, such as the baking of bread, and how these traditions changed over time and became engrained in American culture—including the transformation of the Dutch St. Nicholas into today’s Santa Claus. The colony of New Netherland was marked by its diversity, and this topic is explored in discussions of the relationship between Native Americans and Dutch settlers in the Mohawk Valley, the role of Jews in New Netherland, and the practice of slavery throughout the colony. The Dutch perspective on child-rearing practices is also examined, as well as the dream of attaining fortune in the New World.

The Dutch colony of New Netherland and the development of America are not separate stories but are inextricably linked together through historical moments and present realities. Dutch settlers played critical roles in building the nation: their influences are not lost and forgotten but are clearly evident even today. Explorers, Fortunes and Love Letters brings the reader into the everyday life of New Netherland and displays just how prominently the Dutch shaped America.
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